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Talk to just about any educator out there and they’ll say that drills on the basic facts are important for kids to do well in math. I have found that my kids are in definite need of the ‘drill’ format for their basic facts. Otherwise, I see them stare off into space on more complicated problems just trying to remember 2 X 3 or 64/4. We own flashcards, but somehow they never seemed to get ‘hooked’ into using them.
A year ago we were introduced to Quarter Mile Math (Level 2) by another homeschooler. This computer program makes drilling those basic math facts a little more interesting, especially for my boys that love any excuse to use the computer. They can choose to either have cars or (riderless) horses competing against them. The problems to solve appear on the bottom of the screen so they know what they are expected to do. As you continue competing on the same skill set, you will begin to see some of the competitors become your previous competition. What a great visual that lets you see how you’ve improved over time!
As part of the TOS Crew, I was recently sent the Deluxe Edition of Quarter Mile Math. This product is subscription based which requires that the computer have internet access hooked up. You can load it onto multiple computers and have the kids using it at the same time rather than having to cue up to use the standard edition (which requires the CD to operate.) Your child can even race against another family member with the Deluxe edition. These ‘tournaments’ do not have to be limited to your house as permission is given to have a grandparent be registered with your family as well.
So far, the boys have really enjoyed having this avenue to practice their basic facts. It is definitely far more entertaining to them compared to just using a set of flashcards with a sibling checking their answers. And, R enjoyed racing against me on simple multiplication facts. Now I just need to have him race his older brother some as well or maybe dad.
As I mentioned, Quarter Mile Math is available as either a stand alone CD-ROM (standard edition) that is needed to operate the program OR in its Deluxe Edition which does not require a CD be in the computer to run. Each level of Quarter Mile Math retails for $39.95 for the standard version with a discounted rate for bundled levels. The Deluxe edition costs $2.95 per family per month ,$19.95 per family for one year (save $15.45 over one year) and $34.95 per family for two years (save $35.85 over two years) and includes ALL levels.
More details about the differences between the standard and deluxe editions are on the Barnum Software website. Exploring the website will also reveal a page specific for homeschoolers including a users forum to see how others incorporate Quarter Mile Math into their homeschool.
I am glad to have this fantastic resource available to reinforce learning for my boys. Knowing they enjoy using it makes it even better.